Turkish Leather Manufacturers' Association (TDKD) Chairman Ramazan Hazar told the Anatolia news agency that they closed 2008 with $1.3 billion in exports and 2009 at $1.1 billion, while data from the first eight months of 2010 show that there has been a 19.4 percent increase in leather exports. "We reached $777.5 million in exports in August. We also expect a boost in leather exports in the remaining months of the year. We hope to close 2010 with $1.5 billion in exports, which will be the highest in the last three or four years," Hazar said.
Hazar mentioned the fact that the demand from European customers has increased by 20-30 percent due to European companies' dissatisfaction with leather products imported from China. "The country that imports the most leather from us is Germany. The reason for this high demand is that German companies are purchasing leather and leather products from Turkey, while selling other countries their own brands," explained Hazar.
Hazar also noted that they have faced some trouble due to the high demand since there was a small supply. "One consequence of the crisis is that meat consumption decreased, which leads to a fall in the amount of leather. After the high demand for leather, prices increased by 20 percent. If we didn't face a decrease in supply, the leather sector in Turkey could do far better in terms of exports and revenue. But the still-high exports is a sign that our sector will improve by 2011," emphasized Hazar. He stated that the leather sector will be reinvigorated by the upcoming Feast of the Sacrifice, when numerous animals are sacrificed, adding significantly to the supply of hides for tanning.
Hazar noted that the İstanbul Leather Fair will be held between Jan. 18-20, 2011 and that it could increase sales in the sector, adding that the fair will cover an area of around 13,000 square meters with 300 participating companies.